“An incalculable amount of pain, many limbs, and indeed many lives must have been saved by the timely arrival of the bales”

Wargrave had been at the heart of work providing surgical supplies during the war.

Wargrave Surgical Dressing Society

This Society, which has just brought its work to a close owed its existence to the energies of Miss Choate.

At Millward’s, generously lent by the late Mr. Henry Nicholl and recently by Major C.R.I. Nicholl, was started by her in March 1915, a work which grew to such an extent that during the four years some 500,000 dressings and comforts were dispatched to the wounded from Wargrave. These were not, of course, all made in the village. Under Miss Choate’s organisation, branches were started at Dartmouth, Ledbury, Loughton, Pangbourne, Peppard, Shiplake and Wimbledon, while welcome and regular parcels were received from Twyford, Kidmore and Hoylake. But all were packed for shipment and consigned from Wargrave.

The parcels went to Hospitals and Casualty Clearing Stations at almost every fighting area – to Mesopotamia, to Gallipoli, to Egypt, to Serbia and to American and Colonial Hospitals in England and in France.

It is impossible to ever estimate the value of the work. An incalculable amount of pain, many limbs, and indeed many lives must have been saved by the timely arrival of the bales. As a lame man said to the writer “Only we who are still suffering the effects of the shortage of medical comforts at the beginning of the war can appreciate fully the work these people have done.”

In the early days, consignments were sent in response to urgent appeals from Commandants and Matrons of Hospitals, but since 1916 the Society, in common with other of the larger Societies in England, has worked under the direction of the Department of the Director General of Voluntary Organisations at the War Office.

A.B.

A meeting of the Society and the subscribers was held on Wednesday, Feb. 5th, at Millwards to decide upon the disposal of the Balance in hand. Every provision had been made for carrying on the work through the winter if the war had continued, and the funds amounted to over £200.

In the absence of Capt. Bird, the Vicar was asked to take the chair. After a full discussion it was unanimously resolved that £200 be given to the Ward Fund and Recreation Fund of the Manor Hospital, Hampstead.

It was a great happiness to all concerned to feel that the money should benefit a work with which Miss Sinclair was so closely associated.

It was resolved that the remaining balance be given to the Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading, for a Care and Comforts Fund for the Soldier Patients.

The accounts have not yet been audited but it is expected that the amount to be given to Reading Hospital will be about £20.

These resolutions, together with the audited accounts, must be submitted to the Charity Commissioners for approval, but there is every reason to think that they will be endorsed by them.

The men in the Manor House Orthopedic Hospital, Hampstead, for discharged Soldiers and Sailors, wish to send their grateful thanks to the Members of the Surgical Dressing Emergency Society, Wargrave, for their splendid gift (£200) to be used for their Care and Comfort. As many Wargrave ladies have consented to be god-mothers in the wards, it is the wish of the men that some of them should be on the new Committee, called the Care and Comforts Committee, who from time to time will decide how the money shall be spent. The appreciation of the men is very touching in its sincerity and sense of sympathy.

Wargrave parish magazine, March 1919 (D/P145/28A/31)

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Converting charity funds into war loans

A Wargrave charity decided to invest its trust fund in war bonds, this supporting the war effort by effectively lending money to the government.

The Pigott Trust

The Capital held by the Charity Commissioners for the Trust consisted of £6700 £2 ½ per cent. consolidated stock, under the Will of Robert Pigott, and £1666 13s. 4d consols, under the Will of Mrs Ann. Pigott.

Upon the issue of the £4. 10 per cent. War Loan 1925-1945, The Trustees applied, July 16th, 1915, to the Charity Commissioners suggesting that, although there was no sale for Consuls at the then fixed price, the Consolidated Stock might be converted into War Loan to the advantage of the Charity, if private purchasers of War Loan would be so good as to donate to the Charity the conversion rights attaching to their private purchases. It was suggested that the Official Trustees could then, as temporary owners, exercise the conversion rights by presenting the fully paid Script Certificate, with the Talon attached, to the Governors of the Bank of England, who would retain the Talon and return the Certificate.

The Charity Commisioners replied that the proposal would be possible and the Official Trustees of the Charitable Funds would be prepared to carry it out.

The Pigott Trustees at Wargrave therefore invited Parishioners who had purchased War Loan to help the Charity by donating their conversion rights in this way.

Fully paid Scripts were promptly received from the following people:-
Messrs. W. E. Cain, H. F. Nicholl and J. Shepherd, Capt. H. Shepherd, Col. A. S. and Mrs. Wedderburn, Mrs. Grovers, Mrs. and Miss Winter, Mrs. Young, Mrs. Oliver Young, and the Rev. S. M. Winter – amounting altogether to £9000.

As a result of the whole of the Robert Pigott Return, £6700 £2 ½ per cent. Consols, has been converted into £4466. 13. 4. £4 ½ per cent War Loan, 1925-1945. And of the Ann Pigott Trust £50 Consols, part of £1666 13. 4 like Stock, has been converted inrto £33. 6. 8. £4 ½ per cent War Loan, 1925-1945. The Charity receives both the Consols Dividend in October for the last time, and the half-year’s Dividend on the War Stock due December 1st, 1915. This has been effected without any cost to the Charity. The Charity Commissioners estimate that the cheapest method of conversion through the market would have cost the Charity about £67 10s.

Our grateful thanks are therefore due to those who have so kindly given their help.

Wargrave parish magazine, January 1916 (D/P145/28A/31)